Italy to try US soldier in shooting death of intelligence agent in Iraq

[JURIST] An Italian judge Wednesday ordered New York Army National Guard [official website] soldier Mario Lozano [Wikipedia profile] to stand trial on charges of voluntary homicide in connection with the death of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari [BBC profile] at a US checkpoint in Iraq in March 2005. Calipari was shot to death in 2005 while driving to the Baghdad airport after securing the release of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena [Wikipedia profile] from Iraqi kidnappers. A second Italian agent, Andrea Carpani, was also wounded when US soldiers perceived the car as insurgents speeding through a security checkpoint.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman says, however, that the US would not hand Lozano over for trial, which is scheduled to begin April 17. US and Italian officials have failed to agree [JURIST report] on details surrounding Calipari's death. A US investigation [JURIST report] into the incident cleared US soldiers of any wrongdoing but an initial Italian probe [JURIST report], while concluding the killing was accidental, found that there were serious miscommunications among US officials in Iraq and confusion about the rules of engagement for checkpoints. Italy's independent prosecutors refused to agree with the Ministry of Defence that the shooting was accidental.

Calipari's widow, now a member of the Italian Senate [official site, in Italian], said she was satisfied with the decision to prosecute Lozano. Reuters has more.



 

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